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Military told to keep close eye on situation

[ 2010-07-30 10:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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A top military officer has warned the Chinese military to keep a close eye on the changing situation amid a large-scale naval exercise in the South China Sea, held at the same time as a joint Washington-Seoul drill, State media reported on Thursday.

According to China Central Television, Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Chen Bingde, as well as the navy commander and other high-level military leaders, oversaw a naval exercise on Monday, the second day of the US-ROK maritime drill.

The CCTV program showed major warships of the North China Sea Fleet and East China Sea Fleet appearing in the drill organized by the South China Sea Fleet, without mentioning a specific location.

"Chen Bingde stressed that (the military) should pay close attention to changes in the situation and tasks, and get well prepared for military conflicts," the program said.

The exercise involved six aspects, ranging from precision striking at long range to practice against jet fighters and missiles. It took place under an electromagnetic environment meant to simulate realistic combat conditions, CCTV said.

"It is one of the drills in China's naval history that involved comprehensive cooperation and included the launch of many missiles," CCTV said.

The drill is just one of a slew of exercises the People's Liberation Army undertook before and during the US-ROK drill in the Sea of Japan, which is known as the East Sea in the ROK.

While Washington and Seoul completed their first joint exercise on Wednesday, Seoul said that the two sides will "present a joint military exercise every month until the end of the year."

An ROK official also said a US-ROK drill is scheduled to take place in the Yellow Sea in September.

The exercises, which were initially planned in the Yellow Sea, targeted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for its alleged role in the sinking of the ROK warship in March. Pyongyang has vehemently denied the accusations.

The move has also drawn strong criticism from Beijing. The exercises placed the Chinese capital within striking distance of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which was involved in the drill, Chinese military analysts said.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Military told to keep close eye on situation

About the broadcaster:

Military told to keep close eye on situation

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.